BRAINS Symposium

Broadening Representation of Academic Investigators in NeuroScience
Skip to Main Menu
The BRAINS logo, based on the two halves of a brain, one half is orange and the other half is blue with arrows point in all directions to represent diversity BRAINS acronym

Continuous Career Invention FAQS

Description of page goes here (invisible)

Thank you for visiting the Continuous Career Invention (CCI) frequently asked questions page. Please see topics and questions below. If you cannot find an answer to your question here, please e-mail us at


  • Each individual's career is unique because of the person's core interests and innate talents. Thus, career development requires invention and synthesis. The sooner an individual gets in an environment with perspective, insights, questions and ideas from people who have much more experience, the quicker a person can make progress towards matching personal attributes with his/her career trajectory. This group of more experienced professionals can help a person sort through myriad issues to establish a small number of most important targets to pursue while having confidence the other issues can wait for a later time. Having confidence that these priorities are very important ones provides additional energy to pursue them.
  • Combining CCI with Mentoring Circles is synergistic as the CCI helps establish the big picture and Mentoring Circles provide a mechanism to tackle the obstacle details and confusion that occur in day-to-day life.



  • Some BRAINS participants will also have the opportunity to engage in a personalized career consultation process known as the Continuous Career Invention (CCI) program. The CCI experience is completely customized to the individual, examines a person's career in the context of his/her whole life, and helps the person identify what needs to be clarified, enhanced, developed, or nurtured so she/he can accelerate her/his career progress. A critical part of the experience are "innovation and incubation" meetings where the participants get feedback from senior people with successful careers (not necessarily directly related the participant's field - there will be scientists and non-scientists on each team).

    Participants will work with the BRAINS CCI team to develop specific career goals that translate into proactive action or address some fundamental issues which, if left unanswered or unexamined, will impede their ability to drive their careers and impact society in the manner they desire. Interested participants will submit a CCI application and be selected based on fit for the program by the BRAINS CCI team.



  • The CCI program is a systematic and sustained method of designing one’s unique career. The program is a series of targeted conversations which create momentum for accelerating an individual’s career success. The program includes three innovation and incubation meetings, each spaced about six months apart, during which participants engage in self-reflection, problem solving, and goal setting with a team of supportive and successful professionals. At its foundation, the program acknowledges that one must actively create his or her own career path, as opposed to copying someone else's or blindly following external structures and expectations, in order to truly enjoy his or her journey.  The methodology identifies key targets to pursue and barriers to success that were previously invisible.  CCI provides participants with the knowledge and perspectives to specify realistic action plans that lead to more rapid career success.



  • The two-hour-long CCI innovation and incubation meetings occur via conference call.



  • Applications forms can be downloaded here and are due December 3, 2014. Participants will be selected mid-January, and the program will start in February 2015. The three calls will take place approximately six months apart.


What else do you need to know?

  • Each CCI team will include a member of the BRAINS team and will be facilitated by Dr. Rick Baugh, who created the CCI program. The rest of the innovation and incubation team will include partners/spouses/close friends of BRAINS participants, team members from industry sectors and team members from the academic sector. The team members do not have to be in the same field as the participant; but they do have to be successful in their careers of 20+ years.


What CCI is not?

  • This program is not a mentoring program, a teaching program, or advice program. In fact, the career review people are not expected to provide training, to be the answer people, or to have conversations with the participants outside the meetings. However, they are expected to provide career wisdom, career experience, career examples, career perspective and probably most important - key questions, observations, resources, insights and suggestions.


What makes a good senior team member?

  • Good innovation and incubation team members from industry or academia are people who have experienced success in their careers and are well respected by their peers. They are also good listeners and are willing to reflect on the participant’s career. They are also able to do the following:

    • Get into the shoes of the person rather than press for adoption of a path like their own;
    • Adopt the person’s agenda rather than press for adoption of their own agenda;
    • Feel comfortable with an on-going discussion rather than giving definite conclusions;
    • Draw out the person rather than giving answers and conclusions;
    • Grasp and deduce what interests, motivates and invigorates the person;
    • See the person’s trajectory and make concrete suggestions about the next steps;
    • Think objectively and critically and articulate both the positive and negative.


Last updated July 16, 2015

You've come to the end. Click here to go back to the top!